What Causes Pregnancy Headache & How is it Treated?
About Pregnancy Headache
Headaches are one of the most common health concerns that a female has to deal with when she is pregnant. Pregnancy Headaches may occur at any time during the course of pregnancy but they are more frequent during the first and third trimester of pregnancy meaning that a female tends to have Pregnancy Headaches within the first few weeks to months of pregnancy or the later months of pregnancy when she is about to deliver the baby.
Pregnancy Headaches during the first trimester is normally because of a spurt in the hormone levels and an increased volume of blood in the body. This when coupled with stress and poor sitting posture putting pressure in the neck can also lead to Pregnancy Headaches. Some of the other factors which may lead to Pregnancy Headaches are lack of adequate sleep, dehydration, or low blood sugar levels which can also cause Pregnancy Headaches.
What Causes Pregnancy Headaches?
As stated, Pregnancy Headaches mostly occur in the first and the third trimester of pregnancy. During the first trimester as soon as a female gets pregnant, and in the first few weeks following that there is a sudden spike in the hormone and blood levels of the female which acts as a trigger and results in Pregnancy Headaches. Things which may further aggravate Pregnancy Headache are stress, poor sitting posture or any changes in vision or straining the eyes too much in front of a computer screen or television. Some of the other causes of Pregnancy Headaches are:
- Inadequate sleep
- Cases of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels
- Females who have high caffeine intake suddenly stop taking caffeinated products due to pregnancy also tend to experience Pregnancy Headaches.
- Stress is a major causative factor for Pregnancy Headaches
- Females who have a prior history of migraines are also predisposed to having Pregnancy Headaches but in some cases it has been observed that females with a prior history of migraines experience fewer attacks of headaches during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Headaches during the third trimester is more because of poor posture and the extra weight of the baby which increases the tension and stress. Preeclampsia which is a condition of hypertension during pregnancy is yet another cause of Pregnancy Headaches.
How is Pregnancy Headache Treated?
Avoidance is the best way to treat Pregnancy Headaches meaning that the female needs to avoid anything that may activate or trigger a headache like caffeine during pregnancy. Some of the tips that can be followed to reduce or minimize Pregnancy Headaches are:
- Practice good sitting posture, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Take ample amount of rest and do light exercises like walking.
- Eat a well balanced diet
- In case of an exacerbation of Pregnancy Headaches, application of an ice pack on the head is quite effective.
It should be noted here that as much as possible a female should avoid self medicating during the time of pregnancy apart from the one prescribed by the physician. It is highly recommended not to take any pain relievers like ibuprofen during pregnancy without the knowledge of the physician. It is preferable to follow natural remedies to help with Pregnancy Headaches:
- In cases of a sinus headache application of a warm compress around the eyes and nose is quite effective to get rid of pregnancy headaches.
- In cases of a tension headache application of a ice pack at the base of the neck is quite effective.
- Blood sugar maintainance is extremely vital in pregnancy and hence one should eat few smaller meals two to three times a day to maintain adequate blood sugar levels and keep Pregnancy Headaches at bay.
- Massage is perhaps the best natural treatment to relieve Pregnancy Headaches. Massaging the neck shoulder helps a lot in Pregnancy Headaches.
- Practicing deep breathing and yoga is a good relaxation technique to deal with pregnancy headaches.
Avoidance of triggers which may exacerbate Pregnancy Headaches is the best way to relieve these types of headaches. Some of the potential triggers which need to be avoided to relieve Pregnancy Headaches are:
- Eating chocolates
- Alcohol is an absolute no during Pregnancy
- Eating yogurt is also a potential trigger for Pregnancy Headaches
- Eating cheese can also trigger Pregnancy Headaches
- One also need to avoid peanuts to relieve Pregnancy Headaches
- One should also stay away from preserved meats to relieve pain from Pregnancy Headaches.